WHETHER it was the influence of coach Paul McGregor, halfback Benji Marshall or the three tries from Brett Morris, no one will care about a Canberra hoodoo following the Dragons 34-16 win in the national capital.
THIS is something more than just Wayne Bennett leaving Newcastle and heading back to Brisbane.
IT was a day which was all about fighting spirit and there was plenty of it on show from both sides, but ultimately Gold Coast handled the "Rise for Alex" occasion better with a 22-8 victory over an error-riddled Newcastle.
STILL smarting from Wednesday night's Origin disappointment, Melbourne fullback Billy Slater was the star in the Storm's 46-20 demolition of Parramatta at AAMI Park.
FITTINGLY it was Jarryd Hayne who ended up with the ball in his hands as the siren sounded.